.. It was a day, just like any other day, when Armenouhi (a fictitious name of a patient), a 38-year-old housewife set down to have dinner with her husband and five year old child. Suddenly, she felt the most excruciating severe headache she had ever experienced. She asked her husband for her high blood pressure pill. Her hand just didn’t feel right. After a few minutes, she tried to get up but had trouble bearing weight on her right lower limb, she turned to her spouse and tried to tell him what was happening, but the words couldn’t come out right. Her husband went to call 911 and upon his return found Armenouhi on the floor, unconscious…
I. WHAT EXACTLY IS A STROKE?
A. What is a stroke or “brain attack”? A stroke, or brain attack, is caused by the sudden loss of blood flow to the brain or bleeding inside the head. Each can cause brain cells to stop functioning or die. When nerve cells in the brain die, the function of body parts they control is harmed or lost. Depending on the part of the brain affected, people can lose speech, feeling, muscle strength, vision, or memory. Some people recover completely; others are seriously disabled or die.
B. How common is it? Every year, about 700,000 people in the United States suffer a stroke. That’s about one person every 45 seconds. And one person dies from stroke every 3 minutes, or nearly 170,000 a year. This means stroke is the nation’s number three killer after heart disease and cancer. It is the major cause of adult disability. The cost of stroke in the US is between $30 and $40 billion per year.
C. What are the symptoms? Stroke symptoms may not be as dramatic or painful as a heart attack. but the results can be just as life-threatening. Stroke is an emergency. Get medical help immediately and know when the symptoms started. Common symptoms include: